FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – New COVID-19 boosters that offer greater protection against the newest COVID variants and severe illnesses are going to be available in September, Fresno County health officials say.

The move follows recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH), the Moderna bivalent shot is authorized for individuals 18 years and older, and the Pfizer bivalent vaccine is authorized for individuals 12 years and older. Health officials say these two immunizations will provide increased protection against the current omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. currently circulating.

Health officials want to remind the public that there are four products that can be used for primary vaccination: Moderna, Pfizer, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson. These new doses are intended to work as booster shots.

The FDA also clarified that there are boosters previously approved for children five-11 after completing the original two-dose COVID vaccine, and children ages six months to five years can get the original vaccine.

The new bivalent booster shots were approved by the CDC on Thursday. In California, these COVID-19 boosters still need to be authorized by the Western States Scientific Review Workgroup. Following its approval, the vaccines are anticipated to be available by next week in Fresno County.

COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be very effective at preventing severe disease including hospitalization and death and we expect these newer products to help us be in a good position if there is another surge this fall or winter.

Dr. Rais Vohra, Interim Fresno County Health Officer

To find a site to get vaccinated, contact your primary care provider, or call the Fresno County Department of Public Health Immunization program at (559) 600-3550. People can also visit myturn.ca.gov to find a vaccination site in their area.